Food Processor FAQs

Q.   What is pedigreed seed?
A.   Pedigreed seed, from which Certified seed is derived, is seed that is pure. In other words, it is a true-to-type seed of a known variety which has been developed for a specific purpose. ‘True-to-type’ means all the improved characteristics and benefits developed by the plant breeder have been preserved by pedigreed seed growers and verified by officially recognized third-party certification, as pedigreed seed is multiplied from the small amount developed by plant breeders through the different stages, to Certified seed stage where it can be used for commercial production.

Q.   Why should I incorporate ingredients made with Certified seed into my production process?
A.   When incorporating ingredients made with Certified seed into the production process, you are buying specific varieties that maximize processing yield, minimize waste and maintain consistency through your processing operation. This helps you control production costs and maintain consistency in your end product. Certified seed also helps with product differentiation as different varieties have different nutritional or aesthetic characteristics which have different consistency and flavour profiles that can affect your end product. Because of the extra production requirements in seed certification, which are recorded at every step, Certified seed is also easily traceable.

Q.  Will using Certified seed impact my bottom line?
A.   Investing in ingredients grown from Certified seed can impact the bottom line because inherent varietal characteristics, which were verified by varietal certification, can be tailored to specific consumer needs. The guarantee of consistency and quality can contribute to a premium final product.

Q.   Where can I source ingredients made with Certified seed?
A.   That will depend on the ingredients you are looking for and whether you are a primary or secondary processor. If you are a miller (primary) you may need to work with a seed company who has a seed variety with specific characteristics required by a food processor (secondary) to include as part of the ingredient mix in a food product. As a secondary food processor, you may want to source milling companies, work directly with a seed company to develop a specific variety according to your needs and specifications.

Q.   How do I know I am buying Certified Seed?
A.   Look for the official Canada Certified grade name, usually on a CFIA Certified blue tag. Most seed producing countries, including Canada, have laws that permit only Certified seed lots grown and planted according to the regulatory requirements for varietal purity and identity, germination and freedom from impurities to be tagged with the Certified blue tag from an official seed inspection agency.

What is the process for developing Certified seed?
Certified seed is a class of pedigreed seed that has been inspected and has received a crop certificate from the CSGA. Inspection includes review of previous land use restrictions, minimum isolation distances and crop purity.

Growers are responsible for submitting inspection applications to CSGA, sanitizing equipment, segregating varieties and roguing impurities from seed crops.

CSGA appraises applications, sends inspection reports to CFIA and authorized crop inspectors who audit and inspect crops and return inspection reports to CSGA for appraisal.

If crops meet CSGA standards, a CSGA crop certificate is issued and the crop, with its varietal purity and identity verified, is considered a pedigreed seed crop. At maturity, the crop is harvested.

Pedigreed seed is then tested for compliance with the germination and physical purity standards in Canadian Seeds Regulations and can only be labeled with a variety name and an official Certified blue tag by CFIA-Accredited Graders if accompanied by a CSGA crop certificate. To audit certification, several thousand samples of pedigreed seed, including Certified seed, are annually submitted to the CFIA for official variety verification testing.

Q.   I still have questions. Who should I contact?
A.   We are always here to help.  Feel free to contact us by email, by fax at (613) 563-7855 or by telephone at (613) 236-0497.  Our office is open between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST.  A complete listing of our office contact information is available here.

Q.   Where can I find out more about Certified seed?
A.   Contact the Canadian Seed Growers Association and we’ll put you in touch with the resource appropriate for your production needs.

Email us your questions. CSGA will attempt to answer your question within 10 business days.